Thursday, August 24, 2006

Whitlow Awareness Week

The following is a public service announcement from

If you are like me before this week you have never heard of whitlow, a little known affliction of the finger. The human body (not counting the mind) is perfect in many ways. It is a work of art. The lungs breath air, the heart beats, blood circulates through the veins, white blood cells scurry around fighting off infections, etc. But there is a minor design flaw. Once in a while a bacterium or foreign particle might enter through the fingernail, an infection begins, the bacteria multiply and cannot be driven off. From their secure position in their fingertip-fortress, they can plan and execute one attack after the other. Before long, the tip of the finger begins to hurt and swell and demand medical attention. That's what happened to me last week and this - which explains my absence from posting.

The German word for whitlow is Nagelbettentzündung, an easy word to understand: an infection of the embedment of the fingernail. When I looked up the English translation I found I had never heard it before. I asked Doug - I just have to think of one of the nice people who read my stories and they materialize before me - I asked Doug what he thought the word meant and he suggested that my stories had been low on wit lately and that this was probably a sign that I should do something about it. I had noticed the lack of wittiness myself, and agreed with him before showing him the way out.

So if you happen to develop a strange swelling of the fingertip, see your physician immediately. My physician told me I had come just in time. It was already fairly acute and the bacteria were poised for a one-prong attack on the rest of the finger and hand. He shuddered as he mentioned how bad that would have been. So I asked if there was anything I could have done to prevent it. He said no. It can happen if bacteria happen to enter through a wound in the fingernail. Then there's nothing you can do. I just know I got this because my muse always has me take out the garbage. She'll never do it herself. So if you suspect the whitlow is happening to you, be sure to see your physician immediately and have it taken care of. Also, if you wear a ring on that finger, it's probably a good idea to take it off before the swelling gets really bad. The whitlow is unpleasant enough as it is. The whitlow hurt, the shot hurt, it hurt when they took off the bandage which got stuck in the cut the doctor made. It's settled down now - but I only have half a pair of hands at my disposal and I'm off work for a week.

So what can you do to avoid the whitlow? As I said, probably nothing. If it makes you feel better, wash your hands a lot and use disinfectant a few times each day. Take out less garbage. I don't know. Maybe it's enough to just keep your sense of humor.

Say "no" to whitlow!

P.S. I'll post a photo for stories tomorrow. But due to this damned whitlow, I'm going to stay away from the computer for a while. When I'm back I'll post last week's overdue story.

Friday, August 18, 2006

It was a harmless experiment at the Institute of Paranormalcy to test the power of reflected thoughts. Its title: "Reflective Amplification of Platonic Forms via Non-Platonic Imaginings." The hypothesis stated that mirrors might have the power to magnify the currents and impulses of strong visualizations in the frontal lobes. That's why Sara was daydreaming into the looking glass. Make it racy, they lab boy told her, and so she spun a negligee dance into the symmetric irreality. Reflections of her twirling form fashioned a web out of the nuanced light - swirls and blurs of her limbs in motion flared full into the glass. The men she dreamed stood stunned to silence, possessive eyes spinning dreams within the dream. They sighed in subservience to her, and breathed in rhythm with the sliding of her feet. On the life side of the mirror she sat like a sphinx in the deep concentration that her thoughts demanded. She felt grand lending her mind to studies of paranormal phenomena, took pride in the contribution her daytime fantasies made to the world of erotic archetypes. Maybe a ripple of what she imagined might weave into the thoughts of a great artist to inspire works of passion. Or tune a mood to subtle seduction. The lab boy, reading her thoughts as he left the room, scratched the back of his head. He'd seen her at the disco one night, and knew quite well that she couldn't dance.

Story #370

Thursday, August 17, 2006

This Week's Cool

After the interruptions of vacation, I feel my brain cells settling back into place and I'm able to take time to tell you about some of the interesting blogs I've found lately...

My Postcard Fiction is a new story blog by Bob Boyd that promises to tell us a story a day. And what stories they are! Everything I've read there has been entertaining, imaginative, well-written, and full of surprises. My favorite at the moment is "One Day I Woke Up Fluent In The Languages of Animals," a delightful fantasy about a man who can suddenly speak to animals. The stories are sometimes surrealistic, but not off the deep end (like my own stories), scary, as in "The Buzz," quirky, as in "Confessions of an Ex-Vegan" folksy, as in "Granny's Tulips." This selection is completely arbitrary. I just reached into the sand and came out with a hand full of amber.

"Aaaby sprzedać... dodaj fotkę" is a new Polish language blog by three divas with a Slavic sense of humor. I'm a sucker for three divas with a sense of humor in any language. The site is a parody of Internet auctions, and it was possible for me to enjoy at least one of the captions with the help of the Polish language babelfish translator Poltran. This caption, for example: "It is borne according to newest trends on legs. But at least on one, it is possible to pack potatoes to second (other) net." goes with this post. Enjoy! But of course the humor works best if you happen to speak Polish. (I found the blog using the Blogger "next blog" button to get away from my own blog.)

Ediciones Efimeras, the Spanish language e-zine of surrealistic fiction has included another translation of one of my stories. The cool thing is that in the Spanish translation my stories all have titles. This one is called "Estatua." (Click the blue icon to view the story).

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Black Rock Cave

One day a man was going to camp in a cave. in death vally. He set up his sleeping bag. Then it started to rian, and then lightning struck in front of the cave, and made a rock to heavy to move fall in front of the cave. It was pitch black except for his fire. Then there was an earthquack and rocks came of and he saw flesh and blood in the rocks from other campers. and there was something carved in the rock that said leave - or this will be you. And than he looked and had to addmit it was him. Unfortuonatly he didn't scare easly so he decided to investagate. Then all of a sudden - he turned around and discovered he discovered the tunnel of time! He was going back in time! Then he couldn't go any further he was in the begining of time, to die, die in this hot earth.


Note: This was the ninth and final story I wrote when I was 11. There was no illustration, so I found a photo for it. Probably I would have drawn a view looking into the tunnel, and the man from behind, walking into it.

In writing these stories I had first thought up the title, and then wrote the story. The three titles which were to follow, but which I never wrote, include:
10. Lost and Found in Space
11. The Orange Glow
12. Nowhereland

Perhaps it was I who walked into the time tunnel...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Sherry stretched on the beach towel, catching the hot breaths of sunlight on shoulders, belly and breasts. At that same moment a drop of saltwater splashed into the space-time-continuum causing a schism in the realities. Body still browning, a universe of billiards imposed itself upon her head. She was to supervise the rapid rolling of the orbs - no fouls were to be made, no paths modified against the rules of quantum mechanics, no illicit collisions. Initiated by the long, thin stocks of phallic wood, the rounded geometries shot rulered paths of straightness until ultimate collisions convened over new angles.

Crash! It happened! The hurdling Cue Ball smashed unabashed into the Eight. Cries went up from the balls with Stripes, as Solid had committed the foul. Sherry declared it a foul, and cast a stern look upon the wall of solid-colored orbs arrayed in anger against her. The balls dispersed and resumed their positions on the surface, but perspiration formed on her brow, encouraged by the grumbled epithets she overheard as the billiards whizzed much too close past her cheeks.

As the game wore on, the constellation of eyeless countenances had an unsettling affect that she tried not to show. It reminded her of her precarious position, one head against a horde of rolling spheres the size of small cannonballs. Her suppressed unease broke her equilibrium. She slipped and toppled into a backwards roll, tumbling the players off their positions. As they stifled their unplanned momentum, they reversed and began paths converging in the center of her presence. Sherry's head revolved, taking in the panorama of rolling objects coming from all sides. Her expression froze in terror beyond screams. Just then the drop of saltwater that had caused the schism of parallel juxtaposition evaporated. Her head shimmered back to the beach and onto her resting form sunning on the towel. But despite the afternoon of sun, her skin from neck to toe was as white as a cue ball.

Story #369

Thank you all for the stories you posted! Tomorrow I'll post another of my stories written at age 11... (Before anyone thinks of asking: I was not 11 when I wrote this one!)

And ohmigod! I didn't think of this until just now but today begins my third year of blogging. The first Indeterminacy story was posted on August 13th, 2004.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Ghost of the Cabouse

One night the staition master went to check the cabouse because he heard some noises. When he got there the door was locked, then he heard a loud noise. And then the door was unlocked. He went in and then the door locked itself. And the train started with no driver. Then the cabos whent off a cliff and fell on a ledge. Then a man was hicking by the tracks. Finilly he managed too look down and he saw the cabouse. He got a rope and climed down and went in the cabous. And then the door locked. He heard noises behind him slowly he turned around and all he saw was two shadows one was his and the other one looked like the staition masters shadow, He looked up and he saw a ghost. It had a knife and the ghost was about to stab him he coughldn't run he was scared stiff. But then he remembered if you close your eyes a ghost can't hurt you so he did so and when he opened his eyes he was back on the train track.

The End ........

Note: Looking through some boxes the other week I found a rare cache of stories I'd written when I was eleven and in the fifth grade (1973), my first stories ever. They are bound in a manila folder, handwritten in pencil and accompanied by their own illustrations: "The Story Book of Trils and Chills + Excitment." My intention was to write my own book of short stories, but I stopped after nine of them, though I listed several titles more that I never got to. I recall it being too hard to think up what should happen. So now you see what a talented prodigy I was as a child. Early Indeterminacy. Visionary experiments in short prose combined with illustrations. Actually, there may be no way to do damage control on this. I thought of claiming I was seven when I wrote these, but that would only be lying to myself. Should I post more of these?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Lonely? Girlfriend or boyfriend just left you? Come on down to Calvin's Clones and pick out your self-ensemble today! Four limbs, a torso, and a head. Snap 'em together and the rest is science. Thanks to our state-of-the-art patented cell module all our clones can be activated immediately with just the slightest specimen of your DNA given in the form of a kiss. In sixty seconds your clone will set itself to your appearance in ten-inch scale replica with a face and belly button looking just like yours - or double your money back. But that's not all! Upon activation your clone will sing and dance popular songs wherever you put it, even in the bath tub! This is karaoke your mother never told you about! And of course no surrogate middleman to come around making demands for bearing your clone. All purchases are no umbilicals attached! The built-in mimic module will have your clone walking, talking and singing like you in no time at all! Makes a great conversation piece. Friends will be amazed at the soliloquies. For that self-indulgent feeling, or the ultimate in autoerotic experiences, buy one of Calvin's Clones today. Remember: Calvin's Clones - more than just a cliché!

Story #368

Note: Thanks Mushroom and Doug for contributing! Everyone, be sure to stop by here tomorrow because I will post some of my experimental prose written when I was 11 years old.